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PSY2040 Human Information Processing

Units : 1
School or Department : School of Psychology and Wellbeing
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 30 May 2023


Pre-requisite: PSY1020 and (PSY2100 or STA2300 or STA1003)


Perceptual, attentional and memory processes play a vital role in our daily life and a well-functioning and well-integrated perceptual and cognitive system is something that most of us take for granted. It is therefore important to understand these systems, and the models and theories relating to them, in terms of everyday human activity, and from that perspective we assume they are functioning normally. Conceptually, these systems are examined in the contexts of information theory, information processing theory, and cognitive psychology. Major themes include the modularity of the human mind, and the distinction between brain and mind (expressed as a hardware / software metaphor). This course is designed to build upon the material taught in Foundation Psychology B to provide psychology students with a firm grounding in cognitive theory as it relates to normal perceptual and cognitive processes.

The course starts with an introduction to human perceptual processing, and a revision of sensation and perception (initially covered in Foundation Psychology B). The course builds upon this material by examining perceptual processes in a functional manner. The perception topics mainly involve vision, with minor mentions of the other senses, and include iconic memory, masking, optical illusions and signal detection theory, with a strong emphasis on experimental research and evidence. Following the introductory information, theories of perception; attention and attentional theories are discussed. The course then turns to an examination of human memory with an applied focus, covering topics such as short/long term memory, eyewitness testimony, false memory, and ageing, and includes the most prevalent and current theories of how memory can be best understood, along with evidence for and against such theories. Following memory, the final part of the course centres around reasoning (and reasoning errors). All content is examined toward the end of semester in an online multiple-choice quiz. In addition, the course allows students to build and demonstrate skills in data collection and in the analysis of simple datasets, graphing of results and the writing of APA-style Results and Discussion sections (assessed in Assignments 1 and 2).

Course offers

Study period Mode Campus
Semester 2, 2023 On-campus Ipswich
Semester 2, 2023 On-campus Toowoomba
Semester 2, 2023 Online
Date printed 30 May 2023